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Features


FEATURES 4/14/20 10:39pm

Pipe cleaner chemistry kits and 13-hour time differences: Students adjust to remote classes

For some students, moving back home two months earlier than expected to finish out the semester has meant the mixed blessing and curse of home-cooked meals and navigating impossible time differences for Zoom class; for others, it has meant trying to focus long enough to pass courses amid unstable internet access and the burdens of financial stress. For all students, the pandemic has posed unique obstacles to obtaining the education they had hoped to get out of the semester. 


FEATURES 4/14/20 9:16pm

Virtual prayers: Rice students celebrate religious holidays under lockdown

Religious festivals are times of celebration, shared in a community, when families hold both simple and extravagantly planned gatherings to catch up with each other and have a good time. Oftentimes, these festivals give religious communities the opportunity to gather as a large group to worship and celebrate together. Many of these festivals have deep spiritual or religious significance for students. The Thresher caught up with students celebrating Easter, Passover, Ugadi and Ramadan this year to discuss how they’ve managed to maintain the spirit of the festival even after the pandemic struck. 


FEATURES 4/14/20 9:07pm

Heroes on the front lines: Rice alumni fight against COVID-19 in hospitals

Rice students aspiring to become doctors do plenty of preparation in their undergraduate years  — prerequisite courses, Medical College Admission Tests and clinical experiences. But most students are likely not preparing to be on the front lines of the battle against a global pandemic. However, that’s exactly where a number of Rice alumni have found themselves in the face of COVID-19.



FEATURES 4/14/20 7:06pm

Moments alone: More 50 word stories from isolation

As we all exist in isolation from one another, it can be grounding to take a moment to reflect on where we are and how we're doing, and hear the same from others. With that in mind, the Thresher asked for brief stories from the Rice community about what living in social isolation has been like. Here’s what people told us. This is our second installment of this series.



FEATURES 4/14/20 5:15pm

Hotspots: Students return home to highly infected regions

When Rice announced that classes would be going remote and required students to leave campus unless their petition to stay on campus was approved, some undergraduates had to do what it seemed like nobody in America wanted to do: travel to areas of the country with high rates of COVID-19. The Thresher caught up with students from California, New York and Washington who made the difficult decision to return home and be with their families. 


FEATURES 4/14/20 3:40pm

A look back into history: Rice in times of crisis

For the first time since our university’s founding in 1912, all instruction is taking place remotely and virtually. For the second time since our founding in 1916, the Thresher has stopped printing physical papers (the first break was during World War I, according to our records) and for the first time has transitioned to emailing a weekly online newsletter (which you can and should subscribe to here). And for the first time in its 64-year history, Beer Bike did not happen.


FEATURES 4/10/20 8:13pm

Time cut short for alumni on fellowships

Over 10,000 miles from Houston, off the coast of the Maldives, reef manta rays are in their peak season: Every March and April, the massive sea animals aggregate in large numbers in the water surrounding the small South Asian island nation.  Anna Knochel had been anticipating this moment for a while. A 2019 recipient of the Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship, which funds international research projects, Knochel (Baker College ’19) began pursuing a master’s degree in marine science at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology last fall. Much of her time was spent preparing for her fieldwork in the Maldives and Mozambique, which would focus on the skin microbiomes of manta rays. 




FEATURES 4/7/20 5:46pm

Moments alone: 50 word stories from isolation

As we all exist in isolation from one another, it can be grounding to take a moment to reflect on where we are and how we're doing, and hear the same from others. With that in mind, the Thresher asked for  brief stories from the Rice community about what living in social isolation has been like. Here’s what people told us...




FEATURES 3/31/20 9:50pm

Through the Sallyport: Seniors say an unexpected early goodbye

On a sunny Friday afternoon, hundreds of seniors took their highly anticipated walk through the Sallyport, which traditionally marks graduation and the end of their time at Rice. But the date was March 13, 65 days earlier than expected. In a blend of spirits that can best be described as bittersweet, seniors from each of the 11 colleges walked through the Sallyport into a crowd as members of the Marching Owl Band played music. 


FEATURES 3/31/20 9:36pm

Extracurriculars, inside: How students are passing the time in social isolation

With little to no human contact, many people have struggled to adapt to self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some students have taken up hobbies — new or old — to relieve stress about the coronavirus or to occupy an abundance of free time that some students now find themselves with. Here are some of the creative ways Rice students are now spending their time.





FEATURES 3/24/20 10:29pm

Facebook groups offer community support during coronavirus outbreak

When Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman announced that undergraduate classes would be moving online two weeks ago, campus was thrown into chaos. Since classes for the week were already canceled, many students had already left campus for an early spring break, while others were given little time to pack up their belongings and say goodbye to friends before departing for the rest of the semester.